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04/21/2006 - 5:29 p.m.

HOOKIE

I should play hookie more often. Hookie, of course, is best played with a partner and so I enlisted FogieKnight in my plan to fail to report for work and, instead, spend the day together. I wanted to spend the day out in the sunshine but one can never be sure a Midwestern spring sky will cooperate. But the fates were with me and sunshine it was. FogieKnight figures there may be hell to pay when his boss catches up with him (but don't worry too much because, after all, he is his own boss) but he was willing to pay that price and I'm glad he did.

Last night, we did not set our alarm. (Day, as you may know, is off on a trip to New York City so we had no danger of the Day going off early either.) We awoke in a leisurely way (even if a less leisurely hour because neither of us can sleep until noon as we did on non-work days when we were first married) and FogieKnight made oatmeal. I love oatmeal in the morning and FogieKnight usually makes it because, for safety reasons, I am not allowed near a flame in the morning. (True, we have electric burners these days but the principle remains. I should not cook first thing in the morning.) Some days, I make oatmeal in the microwave but when I do that I only have slightly better than a fifty-fifty chance of getting the proportions right. (Oh, to have a brain in the morning!) But this morning, no problem. FogieKnight made delicious oatmeal.

We got ready for the day and headed up to Cedarburg. Mary, Bev, Tricia, Walt and I all headed up there when they were here last September. It's where they got me the eensy-weensy spider bowl and accessories. It's where Tricia missed (or at least did not hear) the discussion of cheese curds. It's a quaint old town with lots of artsy shops and antique stores. It's a great place to stroll.

And I stayed right there and right then. I did not worry about Day in New York City. I did not worry about work. I did not worry about funding colleges. I did not worry at all—except for my concern that my sisters and brother missed the store that housed the great children's literature series, "Cherry Ames, _____ Nurse." That series was so bad (although I liked reading them anyway) that they liked to read the books aloud and dramatically. As a result of their dramatic readings and the bad dialogue, I did dig into my past upon seeing the books and remarked, in the immortal words of the housekeeper Cherry's family hired when she returned from her days in World War II as an Army nurse, "Flapdoodle. I never seed you afore!" If at least one of the books had been just a bit cheaper, I would have sent "Cherry Ames, Chief Nurse," to my next sister down because I'm sure she's been missing it.

After we had had enough walking, we wandered into a coffee shop for cookies and coffee. We sat in comfey black leather chairs and chatted about life. None of the discussion mattered and all of it did. We looked, we listened, and we courted, something couples often do too little of.

And now we are home---for the moment. We'll eat dinner and then go over to a local college to hear a concert.

How come being bad feels so good?

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